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Rabbits/Two male rabbits fighting

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Question
Hi, I have 3 rabbits that are 5 months old.  One female, white and not fixed. Two neutered, male, chinchilla colored.  They live partially in the chicken coop with their own living quarters and and a 30 x 30 fenced in yard with lots of greenery to eat. They do share the yard with 10 chickens (I keep it very clean)and they all get along fine. Late one evening, I went out to feed them and the two males were fighting. I was shocked.  I broke up the fight and they went to their own separate corners.  I checked them several times and saw they were still wanting to fight.  The next day they hid from each other and that evening, the fight began again.  This time they tore each other up.  I put one in a 4 x 5 cage in the same area, to keep them separated but still able to see each other and they are still bickering through the wire.  My question is; why did they start fighting and can I fix this. If I can fix this, how do I fix it?

Answer
Hi Annette

Sorry to hear of your problems!

Sadly rabbit bonds can break occasionally, and it is more likely in same sex bonds. There's no way to know exactly what triggered it, it could have been your little third wheel there, but once a bond does fracture and the rabbits are fighting, that's it. They will now need to be kept separately or else more fighting to could result even in fatal injuries. A spayed wifebun bonded with each would be the best solution but you may need to divide your yard up to do it safely. Or the other sad option would be to rehome one buck elsewhere, even if he maybe becomes a house bun or is rehomed to a friend or member of the family.

Once vicious fighting starts, the pair can be considered divorced unfortunately.

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Expertise

I can answer questions around the welfare of pet rabbits, basic health queries including gut stasis, diet worries, bonding questions and the proper welfare standards around housing rabbits (i.e. no wire floors, no small cages and they should be kept in properly bonded de-sexed pairs in very large enclosures). I cannot answer showing questions nor complex breeding issues as I do not agree with either, seeing the other end of the story in the world of rabbit rescue.

Experience

I have two 7 year old rescue rabbits and volunteer for a well established rabbit rescue here in the UK, both physically doing cleaning out etc and I am also their events and awareness co-oordinator, helping educate the general public on proper rabbit keeping, this means I have to ensure all information I give is correct and matches current welfare standards.

Organizations
I belong to the RWAF (Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund) and volunteer for a major rabbit rescue.

Education/Credentials
I have no formal education on this subject, however read everything I can to keep up to date with current welfare standards and health problems. Both my rabbits have sensitive guts and constantly keep me on my toes.

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